“The songs I write are like letters to myself,” is how Luke Potter describes his approach to music. “Sometimes I’ve just needed to tell myself that things will be alright, if I just let them be.”
Many of us would keep those letters private, but Luke wants the world to know what’s in them. He has that rare talent: a knack for creating songs so intimate and honest that they could only have come from the truest of places, but with lyrics so inclusive that it feels the world can instantly connect with them, and it looks like the world might be about to do exactly that.
Based in Weston-super-Mare with footprints in London, Sweden, Orlando and LA, Luke’s a self-taught musician whose instinctive ear for melody sent 2017’s single Something More soaring past 17m Spotify plays and it’s still getting 30-40,000 streams every month.
While success has come relatively recently, Luke’s career is built on solid foundations that involve years of determination and hard work.
He started writing songs in his teens and by 17 was well on his way, getting involved in Weston-super-Mare’s various open mic nights, but rather than going in for the usual sets full of cover versions he was performing songs he’d written himself.
Luke’s certainly packed a lot into the last few years, including a period in Orlando where he was managed by management legend Johnny Wright, who’d previously worked magic on the likes of NSYNC, the Jonas Brothers and Justin Timberlake, and who guided a couple of Luke’s early releases to US radio play. Then there was time in LA recording an album’s worth of songs with collaborator Bleu (Demi Lovato, Joe Jonas, Hanson), and several songs produced by Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac) at Village Recorders along with writing sessions in London, Canada and Sweden. By 2017 Luke was on the verge of forming a band, when one afternoon he got a call: Sony had heard his song Something More, and were keen on releasing it.
Ironically the song itself was written when Luke had found himself at something of a career crossroads, unsure if after a few years of raised hopes, near misses and false alarms his career would ever take off. Indeed, the call from Sony had come halfway through one of his shifts as a part-time lifeguard. “The entire idea behind Something More was that maybe there’s something more to life than following this dream,” Luke remembers. “The song was very personal: I remember writing it, coming downstairs, sitting in a chair and crying. And I remember saying: I can’t do this forever if it’s not going to pay off. It really felt like a make or break song.”
His most recent single, It’s Easy’ written with legendary popsmith Jörgen Elofsson has now had hit 2 million streams and 2019 looks like being the year when his new music really takes hold.
As well as finding personal catharsis in songwriting, Luke’s big hope is that his songs connect with an audience who need their own reassurance in life. Perhaps, he thinks, one of his songs might hit one of his fans the way that hearing the Goo Goo Dolls track, 'Iris' hit him in the back of that car all those years ago - the song that started it all and when he first connected to music.
“People who need my music will find it,” Luke predicts. “I hope it works as a beacon and provides hope for them: a lot of my songs are for people who maybe don’t have everything figured out quite yet, but who can hopefully find something in my words. Ultimately, I want people to feel okay about themselves and comfortable in their own skins.”
Look out for big announcement re new music coming soon.